Penny Marshall, who rose to fame as Laverne in the popular ’70s sitcom “Laverne & Shirley”, has died at age 75.
Her manager, Alan Lezman, confirmed the sad news to ET Canada. “She was a pioneer. Strong willed and confident. Talented! I made the deal along with her agent Dan Strone, for her memoir My Mother Was Nuts, which accurately and aptly told the wonderful and funny story of her life. She will be missed!!!” he said in a statement.
The actress and filmmaker died “peacefully” at her Hollywood Hills home on Monday night. Her publicist told the NY Daily News that “she passed away from complications from diabetes.”
“Our family is heartbroken over the passing of Penny Marshall,” her family said in a statement to ET Canada. “Penny was a tomboy who loved sports, doing puzzles of any kind, drinking milk and Pepsi together and being with her family. Penny was a girl from the Bronx, who came out West, put a cursive ‘L’ on her sweater and transformed herself into a Hollywood success story. We hope her life continues to inspire others to spend time with family, work hard and make all of their dreams come true.”
After “Laverne & Shirley”, Marshall went on to find even more success behind the camera, directing the Tom Hanks hit “Big” in 1988. She became the first woman to direct a movie that grossed more than $100 million.
Marshall continued her hot streak with “Awakenings” in 1990 and “A League of Their Own” in 1992. The last film she directed was 2001’s “Riding In Cars With Boys” starring Drew Barrymore.
In a statement to ET Canada, a spokesperson for Dennis Rodman says: “Dennis is sad to hear of Penny’s passing and will always think of the friendship and many great memories he had with her. He’s happy she is no longer suffering.”
“Penny will be missed. May she Rest in Peace,” Robert De Niro tells ET Canada about Marshall’s passing.
Stars have started paying tribute to Marshall on social media:
Of course, Marshall was best friends with the late Carrie Fisher, whose daughter Billie Lourd posted a tribute to the star after her death on Tuesday: